Musical-mike: outside the top 20 best-selling soundtracks of all-time...and sometimes the soundtrack is even better than the movie. honorable mention: it’s doubtful that 18th century england was as gorgeous as stanley kubrick’s superb film of william thackeray’s “barry lyndon” (1975). few films have even been so meticulously lit, photographed or scored as this often under appreciated classic among kubrick’s many landmark films. originally planning a film of napoleon after his “2001: a space odyssey”, the failure of “waterloo” (1970), cancelled that out. using the vast research he had already worked on, after his polarising smash “a clockwork orange” he turned his attention to “barry lyndon.” 300 days of filming, using new nasa created lenses to light it accurately at night, this saga of a english lad doing anything to better his social standing in life, was long, engrossing, some said boring, but with its interesting if unexpected casting of ryan o’neal, model turned actress marisa berenson, patrick magee and hardy kruger, it seemed for the most part to work. warner’s would only back the production if kubrick cast an actor from among the “top 10 box-office stars of 1973” so when redford passed o’neal then at the peak of his career accepted. just as kubrick spent many hours on ensuring the films look was authentic his choice of music was equally well considered. under the guidance of conductor-composer and sometime film composer leonard rosenman, (he was brought to hollywood by friend james dean) the music which heightened the drama as well as informed us of the story, it’s time and its characters included pieces by bach, vivaldi, paisiello, mozart, schubert and for its main title handel as well as some irish folk songs. winning an overdue oscar for best music - adaptation, rosenman said when winning the same award a year later for “bound for glory” “i write original music too, you know!” the original soundtrack recording peaked at no.132 but like the film found greater success in europe where it sold over 200,000 copies in france alone. kubrick’s final vision coming in at 187 minutes plus an intermission was exquisite, an engrossing if flawed masterpiece.